Dubai: Kohli was eliminated for the first time against Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup. Shaheen Afridi became the first Pakistani bowler to take Kohli’s jersey against India in four World Cups since 2012.
Kohli, who was unbeaten on 78 off 61 balls in the 2012 World Cup, ensured India’s victory in the 2014 World Cup with 36 not out off 32 balls. Kohli, who was in fine form at the 2016 World Cup, led India to victory with 55 off 37 balls.
In Sunday’s match, Kohli, the backbone of the Indian innings, was caught by wicketkeeper Rizwan off Shaheen Afridi in the 19th over. Kohli hit 57 off 49 balls with five fours and a six.
Pakistan’s Victory Day Pakistan rewrote history by defeating India by ten wickets on the right day at the Dubai International Stadium. Babur Assam has changed the bad name of Pakistan by beating India in the history of the Twenty20 and ODI World Cups. After the initial setback, Pakistan overcame India’s 151 not out without losing a single wicket. Mohammad Rizwan (79 off 55 balls) and Babur Assam (68 off 52 balls) were the openers.
The Indian bowlers were unable to challenge the Pakistan batsmen at any stage of the match. The batsmen opted for the bad balls and returned with confidence.
India lost two openers for six runs and ended the innings at 151 for seven. Virat Kohli, who did not take a single wicket at the end of the innings, added color to the Indian innings. Rishabh also contributed with 39 off 30 balls.
The first overs were a nightmare for India, who lost the toss and opted to bat. In the first ball of the first over, opener Rohit Sharma was bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi in front of the wicket. Later, Lokesh Rahuli (3) clean bowled and Afridi struck again for India. Suryakumar Yadav (11) and Virat Kohli (28 off 27 balls) and Rishabh (37 off 28 balls) were the main contributors to India’s pressure.
At one end, Virat Kohli batted with maturity and Rishabh supported the ball with a run rate. Shadab Khan bowled Rishabh for two sixes in a row. Ravindra Jadeja (13 off 13 balls) followed. Meanwhile, Kohli, who completed his half-century, returned to the innings with the captain.
Afridi, who took three wickets for 31 runs in four overs, was the top scorer for Pakistan. Hasan Ali, who took two wickets but conceded 44 runs in four overs, batted well.
Afridi’s awesome start
Afridi produced two stunning deliveries to get Pakistan off to a flier, after Babar Azam had won the toss and opted to bowl first.
The 21-year-old’s rocket of a yorker had Rohit Sharma trapped plumb in front for a first-ball duck inside the opening over. And the Pakistan left-armer bagged the scalp of KL Rahul in his second over, swinging one back through the gate at high pace to castle the opener’s stumps. Suryakumar Yadav’s short-lived counter-attack was ended by a brilliant catch by Mohammad Rizwan off Hasan Ali.
But captain Kohli anchored India’s recovery, helping his side to 60/3 at the midway point of the innings, before upping the scoring rate in the second half of the innings.
Kohli’s classy knock
Rishabh Pant’s 39(30) had Pakistan sweating before Shadab Khan removed him caught and bowled in the 13th over. And Ravindra Jadeja, promoted up the order, struggled to get going with a patchy run-a-ball 13.
But Kohli looked secure throughout his knock, bringing up the half-century with a clip to deep midwicket as he helped his side to a competitive total – something that seemed some way off at 6/2 in the third over.
Kohli’s fifty means he goes above Chris Gayle to become the leading half-century scorer in T20 World Cup history with 10, and he now averages 83.4 across 17 World Cup innings.
But his innings came to an end at the hands of Afridi, who returned for the penultimate over, bamboozling the India skipper with a slower-ball bouncer that was edged behind.
Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scrambled 18 runs off the last eight balls, leaving Pakistan with 152 to chase for a first T20 World Cup win over their neighbours.
The run chase
Rizwan got Pakistan’s reply off to a phenomenal start, smashing ten runs off the first three deliveries of the innings. And while the Pakistan openers slowed the scoring rate, the partnership was exactly what their side required, eating away at the target with minimal risk while not allowing the required rate to climb too high. And the pair hit full flow as the innings progressed, with Rizwan finishing on 78* from 55 and Azam stroking 68* off 52 in a partnership of the highest quality. The result gets Pakistan’s T20 World Cup campaign off to a perfect start by putting two points on board, with games against Afghanistan, New Zealand, Namibia and Scotland to come in the Super 12 stage.